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Reads Inspired by Our Favorite Albums - Dispatch #1

Welcome to the wonderful first installment in a series of carefully curated recommendations inspired by our albums and artists! As an avid reader obsessed with very specific aesthetics, I absolutely delight in cultivating the atmospheric relationship between the albums I have on repeat and my favorite reads. If you can't stop listening to Florence and the Machine's 'Dance Fever', you're in good company and this list was created especially for you!

Time is a Mother by Ocean Vuong (Hardcover, $24)

Time is a Mother is a deeply intimate collection that explores encompassing grief and the determination to survive beyond it while sifting through memory and contemplating family and loss, as the author searches for life in the aftermath of his mother's death. This collection is at once fragmented and restorative, bold and tender in the face of violence, and as haunting as it is healing.

Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca May (Hardcover, $28)

In the aftermath of World War I, a naive woman is swept into a glittering world filled with dark magic, romance, and murder. Wild and Wicked Things explores a world where the boundaries of wickedness are tested, and the cost of illicit magic might be death, in lush and decadent prose.

Matrix by Lauren Groff (Hardcover, $28)

Matrix is a defiant exploration of the raw power of female creativity in a corrupted world, following aberrant faith and a woman that history moves both through and around.

Skinship by Yoon Choi (Paperback, $17)

Through a vast array of lives, Skinship explores the places in which meaning falls in the cracks between languages, relationships bend under the weight of tenderness and disappointment, displacement turns to heartbreak, and a profound understanding of humanity offers a searing look at who the people we love truly are.

The Madness Vase by Andrea Gibson (Paperback, $16)

The Madness Vase seizes the reader by the collar and hauls us inside of some of Gibson's darkest moments, only to release us on the other side. The imagery in this collection lingers, digs beneath our skin, leaves us raw and yet slowly healing. Gibson skillfully explores topics of family, war, spirituality, gender, grief and hope in this second book of incredible poems.

Almost Crimson by Dasha Kelly (Paperback, $15.95)

In Almost Crimson, CeCe copes from a young age with her mother's crippling depression, their severe poverty, an absentee father, and her own insecurities. With gorgeous language, a vivid cast of characters, and an eye for poignant detail, Dasha Kelly tells the story of CeCe's struggle to break free from the grips of codependency and poverty to find confidence and success in her career and her personal life, finally becoming the strong woman she's always dreamed of being.

Earth Is Full; Go Back Home by Monica Robinson (Paperback, $15)

A shameless self-promotion, this haunting collection/cosmic undertaking spans millennia and mythology, as timeless as it is modern, guaranteed to resonate with even the most resistant. From conversations with guardian angels to odes to Achilles' rage, this collection pays homage to old myths and creates new stories all at once.

She Is Haunted by Paige Clark (Paperback, $17.99)

She Is Haunted masterfully grapples with charged mother-daughter dynamics, grief, exes, and the complexities of friendship in a debut collection of stories that range from intergeneration trauma to transnational identity with unmistakable skill and wit.

When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill (Hardcover, $28)

This version of 1950's America is characterized by a significant event: The Mass Dragoning of 1955, when hundreds of thousands of ordinary wives and mothers sprouted wings, scales and talons, left a trail of fiery destruction in their path, and took to the skies, in a tale that explores loss, rage, and self-discovery.

Happy listening, and happy reading!

- Monica